Out in the woods – a zen moment

Those following my blog know my penchant for zen moments…

Even with insects –
some can sing

some can’t.
Issa

 

Moist packing – what’s that?

As I was packing seeds today, I thought that maybe some people who never bought or they buy for the first time moist packed seeds may wonder what they would get.

Sometimes I get questions as well, so although I have shown pictures in previous posts, it is good to tell again. There is no secret; seeds that are known to be hydrophilic (to make a long story short – these are seeds which need to be sown right away after collecting or if not, kept moist to preserve their viability), are cleaned from the fruits and stored in slightly moist vermiculite in Ziploc bags. And no, there is no need to spray the seeds with anything chemical.

For shipping, the portion of seeds is placed in smaller bags with a bit of the moist vermiculite (*exception for US orders, when the seeds are are packed with a piece of moist paper towel). These seeds are to be sown right away after receiving.

Asarum canadense moist packed seeds for shipping

These small bags are not intended for storing the seeds long term! (I know someone tried to do that, that’s why I mention it). If you really want to keep the seeds longer, and /or provide stratification in the fridge instead of sowing, you need to transfer them in larger bags with added moist vermiculite (slightly moist peat works as well).

Very small seeds, like those of Coptis shown in the picture, are easily sown by spreading the content of the bag on top of the potting mix (no need to pick the seeds from the vermiculite). Even larger seeds are better sown this way.

Coptis trifolia moist packed seeds

In case of hydrophilic seeds, if kept dry they will either not germinate at all, or will germinate poorly/over a longer period of time. Keeping them moist and allowed the required cycles that mimic the natural conditions will result most times, in 100% germination in the spring. It is a lot of extra work but worth doing it.

Thank you! – Merci! to all our customers

 

Overheating – Roscoea tibetica f. atropurpurea

In this part of the world, the heat & humidity combined together can be quite unbearable. Today, we reached around 38C, with the humidex!
Even the little Roscoea tibetica f. atropurpurea couldn’t take it anymore and the first capsule bursted out in desperation. Two more to follow…

Roscoea tibetica f. atropurpurea with split capsule

I talked about this Roscoea a few times; a cute little thing and a curiosity. It shows up very late (June), produces only few flowers and it is so small that it needs a special place to be seen. Plus, the capsules split in a most unattractive way. Still, I found it charming :) Don’t you?

Roscoea tibetica f. atropurpurea – measured last year

Friday’s Seeds – Soldanella

Soldanellas, the snow bells, are absolutely charming plants. I love them all and would like to grow more of them (I’m not very successful at doing it for now….).
So, I was very happy to find seeds of these two species in the Carpathians; I can at least ‘keep’ them in the Seeds Library, if not in the garden :+)

Soldanella pusilla – a high altitude, calcifuge, miniature snowbell; likes the company of P. minima, Campanula alpina, Rhododendron myrtifolius.

Soldanella pusilla seeds

Soldanella hungarica – has fringed, wide bluish/purple flowers and grows in the shade of Fagus sylvatica stands, many times sharing the place with Saxifraga cuneifolia ssp. robusta.

Soldanella hungarica seeds

 

 

 

 

Friday’s seed – Iris ruthenica

Back to the Friday’s seed with an ad-hoc seeds photo session up in the mountains.
I. ruthenica has a relatively wide distribution from Eastern Europe to Asia, growing usually at subalpine and alpine elevations.
I particularly like it for the fragrant, deep blue/violet, flowers and the narrow leaves which form tufts of grassy ledges on the mountain slopes.

Iris ruthenica falls in the category of arillate irises and since the arils are drying fast, I wanted to capture them as fresh as possible, so not a very good image but it serve its purpose

Spending time on the mountain slope gazing at the blue sky and the rock walls would have been satisfying enough; weaving my hands through the grassy tufts to find the iris capsules made the moment unforgettable. The flowers pictures was taken during another trip, in a different location.

Back with more seeds

I’m back and guess what? – I brought more seeds :)
We cannot remove/transport plants but, no worry they are contained within the seeds: tiny capsules of time and memories, of new places, mountains and blue skies…
A gallery with few images for now, there will be plenty of time for stories when days are getting shorter.

All available seeds, including more local collections will be added to the Shop over the next couple of weeks. Please stay tuned…